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First Build Ever - Second Opinion and Compatibility Check

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July 7, 2010 3:30:42 PM

Hello to all you at here at the Toms Hardware Forums, and thank you for reading my post
I have finally decided to get rid of my 5 year old system and get a new one, and this time I wanted to build it myself. This build is gonna be for harcore gaming only.
I would like to think that I am not completely un-knowing about computer hardware, and I have done my research, and checked various reviews here on Toms Hardware, but I would still like to be completely sure that everything checks out and I didnt miss anything before I go out and spend my money, so I hope you guys will help me out.
What I want to know is primarily, is everything in this build compatible with the other parts. Okey, so here is the list:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a month BUDGET RANGE: around 2000$

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: High end gaming, every day tasks

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speaker/headset, Monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: N/A COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Denmark

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD CPU and Radeon grapics, anything else - any high quality brand

OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: High Stability and Temp at max load when overclocking, high performance vs noise and power consumption

list of hardware

MOBO: ASUS Crosshair IV Formula RoG
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 C3 BE, or AMD Phenom II X6 1055T
CPU Cooling: Zalman CNPS 10x Extreme
RAM: Kingston HyperX 2x2 GB DDR3 PC3-10600 1333 MHz CL7 1.7V
GPU: Radeon HD 5870 1GB
HDD: 2x Western Digital Caviar Black (WD1002FAEX) 1 TB SATA-600 Raid-0
PSU: Corsair TX850W
Case: Cooler Master CM Storm Sniper Black, Cooler Master HAF 932, or Thermaltake Element V

now, I know that the CPU, RAM and Graphics will fit in the mobo, and I know that the PSU is big enough ( 850W for overclocking and in case i wanna upgrade my graphics ) and im pretty sure that both possible CPUs are compatible with the RAM clock speed. What I need to know is, will the MOBO support the two HDDs in the Raid-0 setup, will everything fit in any of the three cases (plus some combined CD-DVD drive) and is there anything else Ive missed that doesnt fit with the rest. If so, please do tell and suggest changes.

Also if you see anything I could change to save money without loosing performance, or to gain performance without spending a lot more money, suggestions are welcome too.

Another thing, I wanna be able to overclock my processor, which is why I chose a bigger CPU cooler and PSU and this particular MOBO, and so I wanna know, which of the two CPU will be better suited for that, and if everything else in the build is good for OCing. I know the X4 standard is better for gaming as it is now, but I read on the forums that the X6 is better for OCing and ofc then youre set for the future when 6 cores will be utilized better. again, suggestions on changes are appreciated.

Last thing, someone wrote somewhere that having more than 4GB RAM for gaming is pretty useless, is this true ?

Thank you very much for reading, and thanks in advance for the your reply.

edit: updated with *How to ask for build advice* form

Best solution

July 7, 2010 4:27:15 PM

You should fill out form in sticky, link in my sig.

For gaming Phenom II x4 is all you'll need. The x6 OC's worse than the X4's. Makes sense since you've got same power and thermal limits, but gotta power 6 cores as opposed to 4.

As to why gaming doesn't benefit from 6 cores, I'll just quote myself.

Quote:
Games are very poorly threaded. The part of gaming that is well threaded, the graphics portions, is handled by the GPU. CPU, is used for primarily AI. AI, by definition is not a parallel process. It is extremely difficult to thread AI. Most games that are "multi threaded" actually keep AI on 1 thread and throw the rest (minor far less intensive stuff) on the other.

Can you design a game to utilize 4 or more cores? Sure, you can throw all the CPU non intensive calculations onto their own threads, but until someone figures out a good way to thread nonparallel computations, the performance increase will be minimal. This incidentally has been stumping programmers for decades. There are ways to do this in specific situations, but no general solution yet.

Think of it this way. On a math exam you have a 3 part question in which the answer to part each part depends on previous answers. IE

A. Add up 3 and 5.
B. Use the answer from part A and divide by 2
C. Use the answer from part B and triple it.

what is the final answer?

This is the type of thinking AI requires. Threading this is the equivalent of calculating the answer to A, B and C simultaneously. It's not impossible like the mathematical equivalent is, but it's not easy. Figuring out how to to infinitely thread non parallel calculations, is basically the equivalent to finding the cure for cancer.


Mobo: GA 790 UD4 is fine for $140 w/ $15 MIR.
GA 890 UD3H is also $140, but no MIR.

CPU: If you plan on OC, the 955 is all you need. The CHips are identical, I don't think the 965's are even separately binned from the 955's.

HSF CM Hyper 212 plus for $30 on Amazon.com or if you want top end, Noctua NH-D14, Megahalem, or tuniq 120 extreme. Bear in mind it's a a 2-3x price increase for around 6 degrees C.

HD, just get some 1TB Spinpoint F3's. Very little difference and a lot cheaper.

PSU a 750TX will xfire 5870's fine.

Cases: HAF 922, not 932. Element G, not element v.


edit: RAM question. Short answer, yes.

Long
32 bit software is limited to 2gb of RAM usage unless there is a large address aware header. Even with one, it's limited to 3 gb in a 32 bit OS, 4gb in a 64 bit OS. Former is a limitation of software, latter OS.

Most software is written in 32 bits, in fact, outside professional stuff pretty much everything is. This is because of compatibility issues. Unless there are no more people using 32 bit OS's, gaming companies won't start making 64 bit games.

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July 7, 2010 4:43:50 PM

A 5870 isn't going to fit in an Element G. Whereas it will in an Element V.
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July 7, 2010 4:57:13 PM

Oh right, well I've seen other pics where it looked impossible, so sorry about that.
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July 7, 2010 5:03:05 PM

NP ^^

Wish they didn't screw up the V though >.<

All they had to do was make the G bigger and add a filter to the side fan and it would have been perfect.

Instead, they went back to 120mm fans, so it's louder with about the same airflow, sigh.
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July 7, 2010 5:22:51 PM

first of all, thank you for the replies, and second, how does those two Gigabyte MOBOs listed by banthracis perform when OCing compared to the Asus Crosshair ?
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July 7, 2010 5:53:17 PM

Mobo choice has essentially zero impact on overclock headroom as long as there is enough phase power.

All you're paying extra for is some fancy doodads.
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July 7, 2010 6:09:06 PM

the changes you suggested saves me almost enough to get the HD 5970 instead, and that would be sweet :)  so thank you banthracis
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July 7, 2010 7:00:30 PM

Best answer selected by Bastyn99.
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